19 Jan 2011
More watercolours, this time in purple and turquoise. It's so much fun mixing together the colours, and seeing what a little bit more red or blue does.
The paper towel was too pretty to throw away without taking a photo first.
Couscous, apple, cucumber, grape, tomato, pinenuts, pumkin seeds.
Quinoa muffins with raisins made from this recipe. They are tasty but a little too heavy so I'll make them half the size next time.
18 Jan 2011
This past week I've been working on my CV and cover letters to send off to companies. I'm feeling motivated and keen to start working, and obviously very excited about all the pretty clothes I need to buy! I don't have ANY smart clothes (after throwing out all the old, depressing, black trousers and tops I wore in my old job a couple of years ago) and I'm desperate to start building a capsule wardrobe of perfect basics.
There are so many beautifully simple dresses out there at the moment. I've been quite out of touch with smart clothes, as I've lived in comfy jersey dresses and charity shop finds over the past two years whilst I've been back at university. I'm worried that if I don't buy these things now, they will sell out and I'll miss my chance! Oh dear; the shopaholic tendancies have returned. But these pieces will change my life!!
Blue Ponte Dress - Oasis
Claret Open Cardi - Topshop
Lucille Black Flats - Terra Plana
Grey Open Cardi - River Island
Navy Shift Dress - Topshop
Filed under: Style
17 Jan 2011
1. Homemade falafel crumbled over a bulgur wheat and carrot salad.
2. Homemade (soya) cheese scones with houmous.
3. Black grapes and yogurt.
Some quick watercolours that I did over the past few days. It's so relaxing mixing up colours and watching the paints flood across the paper and run together in places. I took colour inspiration from various pieces of art in my home. I plan to do some more.
13 Jan 2011
Today, I visited John Pawson - Plain Spaces at the Design Museum. Pawson was one of the first architects that my tutor introduced me to when I started studying Interior & Spatial Design, and I would regularly look through his books and projects throughout my course. His style is simple, calm and timeless.
At the centre of the exhibition is 1:1 scale architectural installation. The photo above is the view when you reach the top of the stairs and enter the gallery space. There is a thin layer of fabric mesh between us and the room which creates a misty, dream-like feeling. People were walking up to the mesh to see what it was. There is a way into the room later on in the exhibition, and this is the view from the other side:
Pawson is well-known for his 'floating' elements and it was a joy to sit on one of his benches. The timber is soft and warm to the touch, and the 'weightlessness' is stunning, and quite remarkable.
The photo below is the same view as in the first image, but this time standing in front of the mesh screen.
From listening to an interview, I learnt about his design ethos, which is centred around creating an experience for the visitor. He said that when he was about 12 years old, he walked into a building which made him feel a certain way, and he knew that he wanted to one day design buildings that trigger an emotional response or affect the visitor's mood.
He starts a project by sketching and then moves onto making physical models. He said that the models are left out on the desk the whole time, and by looking at them each day they trigger new ideas. The models are photographed to create life-like views which can be developed further. Below are photos I took inside models of two different Chapels.
They were quite small, but so detailed and realistic!!
For Pawson, each project needs to have one big idea behind it, so it has some meaning. The materials usually have meaning and a relationship with the surrounding context. The following part of the exhibition was my favourite, as projects were displayed with real samples of materials. You can read about the building and simultaneously feel the materials. When looking at projects in books, I often find it hard to imagine what the materials are really like. In the book you just see colours, but in real life you can feel the texture, warmth/coolness, see reflections...
Sackler Crossing, Kew Botanical Gardens
Black Granite - deck
Bronze - balustrade
There was a video of this walkway and the way the bronze reflects in the water is stunning. I'm planning to visit when the weather warms up!
Falun Black Timber - external shutters, entrance cladding
Corrugated Zinc - roof
Cricket Pavillion, Oxford
Oak - cladding
Marble - roof
I enjoyed this exhibition immensely and found it to be really inspiring for me, on a personal level. I can relate to John Pawson's way of working with a physical model, and intend to continue to work in this way in the future (despite often feeling pressure to design in CAD). I learnt that materials are so important and need to complement the enviroment as well as each other. For a simple design to be successful, the material pallett needs to work perfectly. A simple design can't be cluttered with lots of materials; fewer materials create a calmer, more cohesive environment.
- John Pawson
- Plain Spaces Blog
*all photos taken by me.
11 Jan 2011
I didn't make the entire skirt today, but finished attaching the metal buttons. I made this just before Christmas but I haven't made friends with it yet. I was in a rush and didn't do a very good job at lining up the front which is annoying, and I don't wear a lot of this tone of blue, so it will take a bit of getting used to. This shirt was originally from Jaeger so it lovely and soft with a nice drape that doesn't cling at all. In all my previous skirts, I pinned the pleats around the waist individually, but since I was short of time for this one, I (foolishly) decided to baste the waist and pull it into gathers. As a result the gathers aren't perfectly distributed like in my other skirts. The other method takes a couple of hours to get perfect, but the results are well worth it.
I've been enjoying my fresh lunches this week.
Today: couscous, carrot, tomato, raisins, soya beans, soya cheese, salad leaves, vinaigrette.
10 Jan 2011
A small, shy sketch from this afternoon. I wish my drawing skills were better. Perhaps I should be doing one drawing a day to improve..
No crafting over the weekend, but in my rules, photos count as 'making' something, and I had time to take a couple.
Oat cakes, houmous, salad (watercress, rocket & spinach leaves), pinenuts, cherry tomatoes, black pepper.
8 Jan 2011
This is what my husband and I will give to his mother for her birthday tomorrow. The gold tone beads give a hint of warmth to the otherwise cool tones of the necklace. The rondelle shaped beads are sodalite.
I hope she likes the handstitched card. It's very simple and was so much fun to make!
I made this bracelet out of some odd beads I've collected over the years. I remember being given the two sea green beads at a craft club I went to when I was about 10! It's funny how things like beads can evoke distant memories.
6 Jan 2011
I restrung this necklace as it was close to breaking point, and decided to add some little gold-tone glass spacer beads. I like the way the hint of gold defines each blue bead, and also they help lengthen the necklace to my ideal length.
5 Jan 2011
My mum loved the last woven piece I made, which encouraged me to make some more. These little 4.5" ones are going to be thank you cards. They are backed onto a single piece of watercolour paper. I didn't have enough paper to make folded cards, but I quite like that these need to proped up: they feel more like little pieces of art work that someone will keep, rather than just cards that will be discarded after a week or so.
They are very labour intensive (I spent about 4 hours on these in total!) but I find the process very relaxing and rewarding. It's fun to see each piece take shape and become an object in its own right. I also enjoyed photographing them and seeing which angles captured the different textures and sparkles best.
They really reflect my style and aesthetic, which is unusual, as I rarely make things I feel happy with. It's made me consider whether this kind of thing would sell. I wonder if there is a market for them? Does anything like this already exist? There are so many people who make things that are much better than these, which makes me wonder if it's worth it. Perhaps I should make a few and see how it goes! Hmm.. we'll see. Ha!
4 Jan 2011
I came up with the idea of making this pendant when the beads formed a triangle shape in their little plastic bag. Using invisible thread, I sewed the beads in stripes to a scrap of blue chambray. Then I folded in the sides of the fabric, inserted a plastic triangle I cut from a sheet of plastic to add structure, added a backing layer of fabric and sewed up the edges to form a triangle. I attached a loop of ribbon on the back for a chain to slide through.
I like it, but I wasn't too happy with the slightly wonky shape.. Next time I'll make a crisp triangle shape first by sewing up the sides and turning inside out, before attaching the beads.
3 Jan 2011
I restrung a broken necklace (above right) and used some beads from my stash to make a double strand necklace. I tend to wear larger beads, but discovered that two strands of smaller beads create the same kind of impact that I like.
I'm wearing my new H&M striped chambray dress that I bought in the sales, and I just can't take it off! It's as comfortable as pyjamas but has such a pretty shape.
2 Jan 2011
I made a square of woven paper today. I worked it out in my head a few days ago, and finally sat down to make it this afternoon. Sometimes I do more thinking than doing. I often come up with ideas in my head and sometimes make notes and diagrams, but I always forget that it's the making that helps you learn new things. For example, today I discovered that I actually like the plain woven back more than the patterned front, so next time I will try a simpler pallet of solid colours with different textures.
It's the testing of existing ideas that creates new ideas, and I need to do more of this.
So... I'm setting myself the challenge to create something every single day this year. It might be something made out of paper or fabric, cooking, or a photo I've taken... Some things might take more than one day to create, but on those days I will document what I've worked on so far. I don't know if I'll stick to it every single day, but I will try my hardest. I'm determined to make 2011 my most productive year so far!